Story: A skinhead love triangle, on the verge of tearing apart due to an influx of Vietnamese immigrants, starring a young Russell Crowe.
Why You Should See It: Legend has it that Brad Pitt, back when he was with Jennifer Aniston, spotted Russell Crowe shopping and approached Crowe to tell him how much he admired his acting. To which Crowe replied, “next time you talk to me, take off your sunglasses, bitch.”
Whether the story is true or not, it certainly feels real when you catch one of Crowe’s early performances as a very convincing white supremacist. It is convincing because of how intense Crowe is. And thus, you are reminded of all the memorable Crowe performances… Gladiator, Proof of Life, LA Confidential. Those eyes skewer through anyone he looks deep into. They are the eyes of a betrayed God. The intensity in the man’s eyes will burn right through any pair of sunglasses, hence why he requested that Brad Pitt refrain from his shades. Watch how these retinas fit on a very scary skinhead. You almost want to join him.
In addition to Crowe’s discovery, there is also that of director Geoffrey Wright, not to be mistaken for the actor. Wright should have had a bigger career than the brief one he enjoyed. His works are akin to Nicolas Roeg, George Miller, and Walter Hill rolled into one. The film he made after this one, “Metal Skin” is an action film unlike any you’ve ever seen… and you can’t take your eyes off it.
In “Romper Stomper”, a movie that likely would never get made today, and if it did, would be buried into oblivion somewhere, Wright demonstrates filmmaking prowess that very few moviemakers today would have the balls to daydream. This skinhead adventure would not just excite Donald Trump, but anyone fascinated with the possibilities of cinematic storytelling. I Can’t Believe It’s On YouTube.
Written by: Norith Soth